Showing posts from August 20, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in National Parks, Removes White House Bikeshare Station, EvoWatch [The astonishing pettiness of these reversals shines a spotlight on his personality]
The Clever Games Tax "Reformers" Play, Truthout
Trump Says Sun Equally to Blame for Blocking Moon, New Yorker [Just a bit of levity from Andy Borowitz]
Trump’s attack on science isn’t going very well, Washington Post
The Noxious Combination of Racism, the Alt Right and the Upper Class, AlterNet
A Deal Breaker for Trump’s Supporters? Nope. Not This Time, Either. New York Times

Schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai wins Oxford university place

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[Nice to have some good news once in a while! Nobel laureate shot in head at age of 15 after pushing for Pakistani girls to be educated confirms she will study PPE. Seems hard to believe that this happened only five years ago. *RON*]

Amelia Hill, The Guardian, 17 August 2017
Five years ago, the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head for advocating the right of girls to be educated. Now she has won a place at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, to study philosophy, politics and economics, or PPE.
The 20-year-old Nobel peace prize winner tweeted a screenshot of the confirmation and said: “So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students – the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead!”

A-level results day 2017: boys outperform girls in reaching top grades - as it happened
Students have complained of extra stress from sitting new, untested qualifications this summer for which many felt ill prepared

Alan Rusbridger, the principa…

The Road to Radicalism in Charlottesville

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[Violent extremism—whether in jihadist or white supremacist form—is often driven by the same processes. Two particularly good books on this topic: a) Farha Khosrokhavar (2015) Radicalization: Why Some People Choose the Path of Violence, and b) Judy J. Johnson (2009) What's So Wrong With Being Absolutely Right: The Dangerous Nature of Dogmatic Belief. *RON*]
Julia Joffe, The Atlantic, 16 August 2017 
“Of course, it was terrorism,” said General H.R. McMaster on Sunday morning, the day after James Alex Fields, Jr. allegedly plowed his gray 2010 Dodge Challenger into a crowd of anti-white supremacist protestors, then reversed and, bumper dangling by a thread, hit still more people on the way back. When he was done, one person, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was dead and 19 more were injured. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Monday that the attack was an act of “domestic terrorism” and that the Department of Justice was investigating him. …

Russia And U.S. Are Nearly Tied As Leaders In Income Inequality

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[Apparently this is what it takes to be a super-power or former super-power... Russia’s income gap is widening to American levels, according to a landmark new study of Moscow's post-Communist balance sheet. *RON*]
Alexander C. Kaufman Huffington Post, 18 August 2017
Politics in the United States might look increasingly like Russia, with a macho president who bashesthe press, promotesloyal propagandists, contestselections and winks at white nationalists. But when it comes to how wealth is distributed, Russia ― where for 69 years the Soviet Union attempted a radical policy of income equality ― is looking a lot more like the U.S.

Top income shares are now at least as high as the U.S., with the richest 1 percent of the population controlling 20 to 25 percent of earnings, according to a new study by three of the world’s most renowned economists researching income inequality. The analysis identifies major flaws in official Russian income estimates, …

Tweet from the account of Charlottesville rally organizer insults slain protester Heather Heyer

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[In Canada you would most likely be arrested for doing this. Will there be any response in the US? *RON*]

Matt Pearce, LA Times, 19 August 2017

A tweet from the account of the far-right activist who organized the Charlottesville, Va., “Unite the Right” rally insulted the protester who was killed at the event, saying late Friday night that her death was “payback time.”

Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist,” stated the tweet on an account belonging to Jason Kessler. “Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.”

The tweet linked to a story on neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer that also insulted Heyer in crude terms and appeared to take glee in her death.

Kessler did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Police say Heyer was killed when a rally attendee, James A. Fields, 20, drove his sports car into a crowd of counter-protesters at the event Aug. 12, which drew white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right figure…

'Way to go, Vancouver': PM cheers as thousands oppose anti-immigration rally

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[Fantastic - Vancouver shows the world how it is done! Click on the original article if you'd like to see some video that cannot be copied to into Blogger. *RON*]

Jeff Lagerquist, Graham Slaughter and Josh Dehaas,, 19 August 2017
Thousands gathered outside Vancouver City Hall on Saturday to show their support for diversity, in anticipation of a rally against Islam, immigration and the Liberal government’s policies on multiculturalism.

Vancouver police said they made five arrests for breaching the peace and two people were escorted out of the rally “to prevent a disturbance.” One of those arrested was brandishing a knife, according to police.

However, there were no reports of assaults or injuries among the estimated 4,000 people who attended, police said.

It was also clear that the pro-immigration group vastly outnumbered the anti-immigration rally.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his support in a tweet after the rally ende…